Tuesday, September 13, 2016


What was most dismaying about Hillary Clinton's recent "Basket of Deplorables" faux pas was not that she said that there are some deplorable people supporting Trump because there are (and some supporting her as well), nor that she went so far as to say that those undesirables comprise fully half of his support and, by implication, roughly 25% of the nation's voters (which they surely don't, but Hillary, like The Donald, has never been known to be punctilious about facts).

The truly regrettable aspect of what she said is that it reflects the left's skewed, tendentious definitions of the pejoratives she used.

Here are her words:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their Web sites that used to only have eleven thousand people—now have eleven million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.
Listening to some of the liberal talk shows on cable the last couple of days it was clear that to many of Hillary's supporters, and quite probably Hillary herself, a racist is anyone who thinks voters should have an ID, a sexist is anyone who disparages the first female nominee for president, a homophobe is anyone who opposes gay marriage, a xenophobe is anyone who thinks we should take control of our borders, an Islamophobe is anyone troubled by the fact that devotees of sharia do not share the values upon which this country was founded, and a bigot is anyone so old-fashioned as to suspect that 40 year-old men do not belong in your ten year-old daughter's restroom.

Perhaps I've exaggerated, but if so, not by much. To define people as Hillary supporters are trying to define Trump voters is neither accurate nor helpful to our public discourse. It's not only slanderous, but it's, in fact, a form of censorship of ideas, and it explains in part why a buffoonish prevaricator like Donald Trump is so popular with average Americans. People are tired of leftist elitists defining them as "deplorables" when they know that they and their families and friends are good, decent people. Trump is a deeply flawed candidate, many of his supporters reason, but at least he's not going to misrepresent and slander them.

Moreover, it's unseemly for a woman who recklessly made our national secrets available to anyone with the technical expertise of a high school hacker, who refused to grant extra security to the diplomats in the Benghazi consulate, who accepted huge contributions to her foundation from foreign governments while serving as the chief foreign policy officer of the United States, and who consistently and persistently lied about all of this, to question the character of Americans who have done none of those things.

Who should be calling whom a "deplorable"?